For those of you looking for an honest, realistic review then you should go ahead and read this review. My group consisting of twelve persons recently returned from spending four nights at Dunes Hotel. For most persons on the trip this was our second trip to Margarita, however, on our first visit (April 2013) we stayed at La Guna Mar. Having no major problems with that hotel the group just decided to try somewhere else and experience something new.
VACATION DATE: 4th August 2013 to 8th August 2013
FLIGHT: Be prepared for delays ESTELAR charter used by PHIL TOURS 658-4533 (the best travel agent) is not as bad as the other charters. Give them a call and book you getaway. Do not book a flight that leaves Trinidad anytime after 4 in the afternoon you will not get to Margarita until midnight, yes those other charters can be that bad
LOCATION: Dunes is approximately 45 minutes from the boulevard and the airport and about 35minutes away from SAMBIL mall. For us distance was not a problem since most of us are from the North Eastern side of Trinidad so we are accustom to long distances to and from the airport and to and from shopping areas. La guna mar is a mere 15 – 20 mins from the Boulevard, Airport and Sambil Mall.
EXCHANGE RATE & SHOPPING: Do not change all your US dollars on the bus transporting you to the hotel. The going rate is 1US to 30 Bolivars, tour guides give you 1US to 25 Bolivars. Inquire in the lobby about where you can get your money changed.Shopping is great shop, shop, shop you can get it all perfumes, clothes, handbags, shoes, electronics, bed spreads as well as kitchen utensils and for those of you who may need an extra suitcase you can get one for a reasonable price (I know I had to buy one). Ask the taxi to take you to the boulevard shopping there is great. The Sambil mall also offers nice options but like all malls there are some cheap stores and some expensive stores. Trinidadians have a way of finding bargain stores so I know you trinis will find the bargain stores. Before I forget if it’s a group of you do not take the trips offered to the mall or boulevard by the tour guides u can pay for a taxi split up the cost with the members in your group and pay way less to go to and from your destination. Just let the taxi know what time you want to be picked up. Inquire from the front desk about taxi service.
ROOMS: So my group booked PREMIUM rooms and if you are going to Dunes you should do the same since these are new. The air condition is great, rooms are clean, the bathrooms are also clean and well maintained. If you want your towels changed drop the dirty ones on the floor in the bathroom area otherwise they will not be changed daily. Each room has a balcony which was a definite plus for me and I had a pool view so I could come outside, sit and enjoy the view daily. Please note that this hotel is a huge compound with a central lobby area with several apartment buildings, the Premium wing being the newest. Fear not u can use the restaurants, bars, pools anywhere on the compound you are not restricted to using one area. There are regular shuttles to transport you around the compound. You should note that each building consists of three floors and there are no elevators but remember pack light because you will be doing a lot of shopping on the island so your suitcases would be light going up, coming down is not a problem. Additionally you will need the exercise if you fully indulge yourself in the all you can eat buffet.
POOL: Looked a little questionable the first night we arrived but by morning time looked clean and inviting. This was the general appearance of the pool for the days we spent at the hotel.
FOOD: The Beach Bar is definitely the best. The pasta at the TILPIA restaurant is great and the chefs although their English is limited try their best to please you. You can definitely find something to eat, for the non adventurous and health conscious there is lots of vegetables and fruits. We did not try the other restaurant.
ENTERTAINMENT: This was the down part for me unlike at La Guna Mar the shows held at Dunes were in Spanish only there was no one translating to English. So although I can understand a few words because of the speed at which they were speaking we were completely lost so attending these shows made no sense. Additionally while at La Guna Mar the DJ at the disco played trini music here was strictly Spanish. The cinema was non operational at the time of our visit. The spa was great and you should definitely check ANA for your manicure and pedicures.
The hotel needs to ensure that its emergency alarms are functional at all times, proper emergency escapes should be identified. Emergency signs should be in both English and Spanish. All in all a good vacation. For those of you expecting a five star hotel for the money you paid you are being highly ridiculous and quite frankly you should stay here in Trinidad and go to the HYATT see how much you will pay for an all inclusive at a five star hotel. As I always say be realistic and keep an open mind everyone’s experience is different.
Premium Rooms only ask for tower 53
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.